When you decide to learn Spanish in Spain, one of the most immersive ways to experience the language and culture is by staying with a host family. It can be an unforgettable experience that will allow you to learn not only the language but also the traditions, customs and daily life of a typical Spanish family.

But fear not! With a bit of preparation of what's to come, you will soon feel comfortable in your new environment!

This might seem a bit daunting at first, especially if you are an absolute beginner. But you will soon realise that a homestay is a great way to enhance your language learning experience, making new Spanish friends as you go!

What does a homestay mean?

Living with a host family means that you will be welcomed into a Spanish household, where you will have the opportunity to interact with native speakers and practise your Spanish skills in real-life situations. This experience can be incredibly beneficial for your language learning, as it will expose you to the language in its natural context and allow you to observe and learn the nuances of the language that are not typically taught in a classroom.

Your hosts are also instructed to only communicate with students in Spanish, wherever possible. It will always be tempting to switch to English at times, especially when you are tired, having spoken Spanish all day, but this rule helps you to get used to speaking and hearing Spanish in all kinds of situations.

Language immersion programmes in Spain 

This is often called language immersion learning: Not only will this experience enhance the quality of your spoken Spanish, but it offers you the opportunity to experience the culture firsthand as well. You will be able to participate in family activities, traditions and events, which will allow you to learn about the Spanish way of life. You will probably also have the chance to try traditional Spanish dishes and, if you’re lucky, you might even learn how to cook them yourself!

Another advantage of staying with a host family is that you will have a support system in place to help you navigate the challenges of living in a foreign country. Your host family can offer advice and guidance on everything from transportation to cultural differences, and can help you to feel more comfortable and at home in your new surroundings.

Are there any downsides?

Of course, living with a host family also comes with its challenges. You will need to be adaptable and flexible, as you will be living in a new environment with people you may not know very well. You may also need to adjust to different living arrangements, such as sharing a bathroom or living in a smaller space than you are used to. If you book half or full-board, you will also have to make sure that you fit your schedule around these mealtimes.

Of course there will also be times where you would like to meet your new friends from your course to explore the local restaurants. Just inform your hosts in good time if you plan to skip a meal.

It is also important to remember that your host family may have different customs and habits than you are used to, and it is important to be respectful of their way of life. This can be an opportunity to learn about cultural differences and to expand your worldview.


Staying with a host family can be an incredibly rewarding experience when learning Spanish in Spain. It offers the opportunity to immerse yourself in the language and culture, to make new friends, and to gain a support system in a foreign country. While it may come with its challenges, the benefits of living with a host family far outweigh the difficulties, and it is an experience that you will never forget!

Estudia-España works with language schools all over Spain and Latin America. If you want to do more than just read about other’s experiences, have a look at our partner schools and book your own Spanish language course!